Jennie B. Altman

University of Vermont



Mentor: Dr. Michael F. Kalinowski, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Family Studies

Parental Emotional Abuse During Adolescence: Controversies of Definition and Intervention

Research on child abuse appears to focus primarily on physical and sexual abuse, overlooking that emotional abuse may have similar effects. This lack of attention may reflect a variation among perspectives. The intent of this study is to lay a foundation on which to build greater awareness of emotional abuse among these varying perspectives. Current legalities regarding child abuse were compared to psychological research and theory of emotional abuse with the intent of showing discrepancies. Female adolescent development was compared to parental style/guidance to show that certain parental behaviors may lead to more detrimental outcomes, as well as to emphasize that greater knowledge and understanding of emotional abuse is necessary for the intervention and treatment our current laws seem to lack.

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